Monday, June 27, 2011


As a nurse practitioner, I always wanted to see a novel where the heroine was one as well. For me, I see NP’s as heroes in everyday life, healing, teaching, comforting, so why not in a story?

The plot of Memories of Murder was sparked by observation of my Alzheimer’s patients and how they seem to be in another world part of the time. I fantasized that maybe they now operated on a different plane, and in that world they could see and communicate with ghosts.

From there I created the old insane asylum from which these ghosts would come. That led to my interest in old insane asylums. I studied pictures of the old Kirkbride buildings, the castle-like asylum structures of the 19th century. Then I ran across an article that I couldn’t stop thinking about.

This article told the story of the closing of the Willard Psychiatric Center of New York in 1995. As the staff worked to salvage remnants of the past, they came across an attic filled with hundreds of old suitcases. The suitcases held the last effects of some asylum inmates and the contents told the stories of their lives.

It’s a chilling reminder of how those considered to be insane were treated in the past. Many of these people were locked up for life for little more than a public outburst of anger. And yet they spent their entire lives in the confines of the asylum. Later a non-fiction book was written chronicling the people and their lives. In addition, an exhibition of the suitcases was set up.

Now that you know the real story, you’ll recognize how it influenced my scene in Memories of Murder where Maeve and Paul find the old maintenance shed from the asylum filled with suitcases.

If you’re interested in learning more about the true story of the suitcases in the attic of Willard, follow the links below for a news article and the actual exhibition site.

Article in Newsweek Magazine about the discovery of the suitcases:

Website of the exhibition:

Memories of Murder is a paranormal romance published by Crescent Moon Press. A portion of the proceeds from sales of this novel will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of my dementia patients, past and present.

Visit me at: Check out Memories of Murder at:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


After trying six times to post a comment on my own blog and failing(inducing much swearing)- decided to announce the winner of the signed copy of IF HE'S DANGEROUS this way.  And sorry I disappeared for a bit but things got a little crazy here what with dental appointments, deadline, a run to the vet's because Jackson's tail was looking funky, deadline, plants that needed to go into the garden before they died, deadline, and a bunch of stuff that was schedualed for promo reasons. 

Anyway - put the names on slips of paper, tossed them on the floor and my cat Perkins attacked as is her wont.  She picked June M.  Aside from a slight problem with a touch of cat spit on the paper, it worked well.  So June M.  contact me here or send me a message on FB making note that you're June M. winner on the blog.

Now back to trying to get the rest of those dying plants in the ground and then getting back to Brian and Kenna who were left hanging and aren't too happy about it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hypnosis (Will I Turn Into a Zombie?)

(Will I turn into a Zombie?)

Guest blogger Carolyn Sullivan

        A pair of mesmerizing eyes. A deep sonorous voice. These are the qualities the old black and white movies used to show a hypnotist at work. Throw in a black opera cape, an evil laugh, dark hair, a mustache, and maybe even a pointy goatee and you have the perfect villain.

Move forward half a century and you have beautiful blond haired, blue eyed, clean shaven, Patrick Jane on The Mentalist. Although he does not have the bass or baritone voice used in the old black and whites, he does have the power to hypnotize just by touching a person, using a carefully modulated voice, and looking them in the eye. Another difference, Jane is the hero, not the villain.

Other movie props include a swinging pendulum, a swirling shape, a swinging watch or locket. Totally unnecessary.

In the movies and on television the Hypnotist is shown as a stage performer who makes people do ridiculous things in front of live audiences. Though there are some who do work on the stage, the overwhelming majority of American Hypnotists live in your community. They work in a clinic or out of a private office, trying to help people overcome addictions or deal with other problems.

Hypnosis can help you overcome overeating, eating disorders, depression, smoking, phobias, nail biting, etc. It can help you improve your sex life, attract a soul mate, increase your self-confidence, control pain, strengthen your immune system, contact departed love ones, visit past lives, astral project, and many other things.

I practiced a form of self-hypnosis to control the pain of four natural childbirths. I have also used it to temporarily relieve the pain of abscessed teeth.

Hypnosis can help you. The two most important things to know about hypnosis is you have to trust the person hypnotizing you and it will take more then one session. Unlike Season Three, Episode 14 of The Mentalist, (Blood for Blood) you cannot overcome the bad habits you have used as a crutch for years in a matter of a minute and a half of a gorgeous man holding your wrist, looking you in the eye, and telling you to quit. No matter how entertaining the words. (Although, Simon Baker can hold onto me anytime!)

You can have hypnosis tapes, CDs, or MP3 programs designed just for you. You can sit in the safety of your own bedroom, study, or living room, and be hypnotized. A good hypnotist will explain that you will need repeated sessions and will make the program for you with several sessions on it. Then you can repeat it over and over again, as many times as you need. (It is also far cheaper to do it this way than it is to have office consultations.)

The prerecorded CDs sold in New Age stores are okay for a trial, but they cannot get you over the hump when trying to change your life style. To overcome an addiction, bad habit, or to improve your energy or general health does require life style changes. To have a Program of your own committed to CD you should first have a consultation with the hypnotist, this can be a phone interview.

You do not need to fear “being out of it” while under hypnosis. Your hypnotist will take you into a trance-like state, but you will still be aware enough that other sounds, such as alarms, sirens, or crying children will bring you back to full consciousness. You will always be able to come out of the hypnotic state whenever you feel uncomfortable.

Neither do you have to fear getting stuck in a past life regression. A good hypnotist will guide you through the regression and leave you with the knowledge that you are no longer to blame for anything that was done in a past life. You don’t have to carry the guilt or the pain.

There is also no need to fear the hypnotist will convince you to do something bad. There has been many a plot where the evil hypnotist has used his powers to get the sweet young woman to have sex with his enemy, kill his enemy, steal from the Queen, etc. You cannot be hypnotized into doing anything that goes against your moral code.

In Hannah Howell’s If He’s Dangerous, Sir Argus Wherlocke, has the power to mesmerize with his eyes and his voice. A “normal” person has the power to hypnotize with the power of his voice when he has a willing participant. A man with the “special” powers of a Wherlocke can achieve so much more with his voice than a “normal” man.  Lorelei is a very lucky girl.

What special powers does a real hypnotist need? None. All he or she needs is a gentle, soothing voice and a willing subject.

Will you turn into a Zombie? No.

Carolyn Sullivan, proprietor of The Bewitching Hour, is an extraordinary hypnotist. (She used to practice on her children and was rewarded by her girls writing letters to distant family members, cleaning, and doing homework. Unfortunately the girls soon caught on to what was happening and refused to be “put under” any more. They became teenagers.)

Carolyn has been a working psychic and hypnotist for more years than she admits to being alive. Everyday she posts Animal Totems, the color of the day, along with assorted words of wisdom on her website and also on her facebook page, The Bewitching Hour. If you would like to know more about Astral Projection, Telekinesis, Hypnosis, Psychic readings, etc. write to her at

Two special offers to Hannah Howell fans:

A half hour psychic reading for half price. (See Hannah special on the Psychic Readings page.)

Get your own Hypnosis CD, tape, flash drive, or MP3 program for $100 off the regular price. (See Argus Wherlocke special on the Hypnosis Page.)

These are limited time offers.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Introducing Gretchen Craig

Last month I met Hannah Howell at a conference in Salem (at the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America), and she invited me to introduce myself to her readers. What a gracious and generous offer, Hannah!

While I love to read Highlander romances and Regencies and Victorians set in Britain, I write American historicals. I’m most interested in times of great cultural upheaval, so I put my characters in these periods of division and watch them struggle through it.

My first two novels are set in antebellum Louisiana among the Cajuns, the Creoles, and the African salves. In ALWAYS AND FOREVER Josie and Cleo are mistress and slave. They are also half sisters who share the same father, a Creole cane planter. Growing up together they forge a lasting bond, but oh how it is tested. How can love and friendship survive the injustices their roles force on them? Jealousy and rivalry for their father’s love taints their sisterhood from the start. Jealousy and rivalry for the love of the fascinating Bertrand Chamard nearly destroys their bond. Cruelty, betrayal, and heartache dog their lives until, through an act of great heart and generosity, they find redemption together. If that all sounds a little vague, it’s because the novel is large in scope and characters; sagas are hard to summarize. But as in any historical, romances or ones like mine that have strong romance elements, the book is about relationships, about loving and being loved.

The second Louisiana novel, EVER MY LOVE, takes the families into the next generation. Josie’s and Cleo’s and Bertrand’s offspring are torn between conscience and convention. They are the children of the planter system, dependent on slave labor, yet they are stirred by the abolitionist rhetoric of the North. The choice is to remain complicit in the injustices of slavery by doing nothing, or to act on their abolitionist principles, a dilemma faced all over the South. On the personal level, Marianne chooses to help her father’s own slaves escape through the Underground Railroad. Yves, a dangerous man of uncertain character, risks his life to shepherd slaves to freedom with a bounty on his head. And yes, this is a romance! Marianne is smitten by the mysterious, conflicted Yves, but can she trust him – with her secrets or with her honor? So we have a strong heroine, like Hannah Howell’s Highlander women, and a dangerous alpha hero whose allure is as frightening as it is stimulating.

I have two novels out as e-books. CRIMSON SKY is set in 1598. That’s the year the Spanish marched into the Santa Fe area. Ziwa faces loss and betrayal, love and danger in this time of cultural upheaval. Newly widowed, Ziwa tries to heal her broken heart with the handsome Spanish conquistador captain. Though Diego is outwardly self-sufficient, Ziwa understands that underneath his bluff exterior, he needs her. Alas, the path to happiness is never smooth. Diego’s demand that she abandon her gods and her culture force her to choose between his love and protection and her very identity as a woman of the pueblos. It’s a love story, and a lovely story, about people making difficult choices.

THEENA’S LANDING (also an e-book) takes my readers to the lush, sweltering strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Everglades when Miami was a sleepy fishing village. Think swamps, mosquitoes, gators, unrelenting sun, and for fun, hurricanes. The crux of this story is difficult for some readers, but most find Theena’s dilemma one they can understand and forgive: Theena is in love with her sister’s husband. No, she’s no Jezebel. She is determined to hurt no one, least of all her sister. The story is how she balances her heart’s longing with honor and integrity to at last, after sin and redemption, earn her happy ever after. I love Theena and the sisters and the loves who revolve around her. She’s flawed, she’s sometimes weak, but oh so human.

Next up for me is the third in the Louisiana sagas. Nicolette is Cleo’s daughter (Cleo of the first book), a white-skinned free “woman of color.” When the Yankee army marches into New Orleans in 1862, she mistakenly believes they bring an end to slavery and injustice. Her story is one of grit- she risks herself to collaborate with the Union forces, hoping to hasten the abolition of slavery. And it’s a story of love overcoming prejudice – can her beloved Yankee captain see past her white skin to understand – and accept – that she is the daughter of slaves? She despairs of their ever overcoming the gaping distance between their worlds. But remember, we are romance lovers. Not everyone in EVERMORE earns a happy ever after, but Nicolette and her Captain do. I hope to see this published in 2012.

If you love Hannah’s Highlander heroes, strong, decisive, and yet of tender heart, you’ll love the men in my novels, too. And like Hannah’s women, my heroines know their own minds, have the resourcefulness to find what they want, and yet know their greatest happiness will be found in healing, taming, and claiming their heroes.

To read the first chapters, go to From there you can also access my blog about writing and loving and living. Thanks, Hannah, for letting me show your readers some new stories they might like!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Release Day for IF HE'S DANGEROUS

Afternoon all!  Meant to get this up this morning but the weather is about to go to summer stinking hot and had to run out and do a lot of stuff so that I could hold up in my air-conditioned writer's cave for the next two 90+ degree days.

So IF HE'S DANGEROUS makes its debut today.  I know it's been seen and bought elsewhere for a few days but this is official Release Day.   It's Sir Argus Wherlocke's story.  That dark, handsome, arrogant guy who kept wandering into past Wherlocke tales(and regularly annoying people) finally gets his own story.  And his own heroine.

I have to admit it was a little tricky trying to come up with a heroine for him.  I mean, really, the man mesmerizes people.  His gift is one that allows him to get people to tell him everything and sometimes even get them to do what he wants them to, whether they want to or not.  What woman wants to deal with that?  I certainly wouldn't.  Why, you could cleverly tuck away all those books you just bought and he'd look at you and say - What did you buy?  And you'd tell him.  No fun at all.

Then I came up with Lady Lorelei Sundun, the seventh child of the reclusive Duke of Sundunmoor.  Oh, yeh.  She's going to be a problem.  Feisty, free-spirited, intelligent.  Enough trouble for any upstanding eighteenth century man.  Even better she has something that will set Argus back on his heels - resistance.  Hey, he was asking for this with his constant appearances and nagging for his own tale.

So I threw Argus into a big pot of trouble and then gave him a heroine he couldn't twist around his long, elegant fingers.  Just for fun I gave Lorelei a big, eccentric family that can hold its own against Argus's own large, strange family and a butler - well, you'll meet him.(I hope)  He's a gem.  Throw in a few determined enemies, a threat to his whole clan, some close calls,  time in a dank dungeon, and we're off.

I will admit that I'm having fun with the Wherlocke/Vaughn crew.  I've stuck in the occasional little psychic talent in a lot of my stories but being able to bring it to the fore, make it part of all that happens, is great.  Not that I don't still write myself into a corner now and then, but now I have that whole new aspect of psychic talents to help dig me out of the hole I just wrote myself into.  I hope you'll give IF HE'S DANGEROUS a try.  If you haven't read the other Wherlocke tales - not to worry.  Each is a story on it's own, the only real connection being a familial one.  I will try to put up an excerpt this week but the first chapter is up on my website -  and there's an excerpt in the notes section on my FB page.

This week my friend Carolyn Sullivan from The Bewitching Hour will blog again on another psychic talent.  Hope you'll check her out.  Her site is in my links section:   And now to go and set up a fan near my desk in preparation for the little heat wave about to smack into us.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Do You Believe? by Catherine Anne Collins

Hello. It’s great to be here today and many thanks to Hannah for allowing me a place to introduce myself and ponder the mysteries of the Universe. Wait, don’t leave. We can keep it light and just ponder the mysteries of our own world. How’s that? J

I recently attended a writer’s conference in Salem, Massachusetts. What better place for a writer with a vivid imagination and two books set in Salem? While researching the first book, A Witch’s Lament, my husband and I managed time away from our business to visit Salem during our Christmas holidays. I’m not complaining, BUT, going to a tourist town when many of the attractions and exhibits aren’t open, is not necessarily a good thing. So, when the opportunity arose to visit in the nicer weather, I wasn’t going to say no.

I promptly booked a room at one of the older, supposedly haunted hotels, reserved my spot on the Saturday night ghost walk, grabbed my camera, opened my mind, and took to the road with a friend of mine. After 10 hours of driving and the constant chatter that occurs when two writers find themselves locked in a car together, we arrived in Salem. A city of contradictions. Narrow streets lined with historic homes of unique and beautiful architecture. Modern shops, museums, and attractions attempting to satisfy visitors fascinated with a bloody past. Lively with the bustle and cheer of a tourist town, yet laden with a sombre thread of the terror that stained the streets with evil and death centuries earlier.

Anticipating a busy and productive couple of days, I focused my mind on the work aspect of the weekend, not thinking overly much about ghosts and goblins. In spite of my lack of attention, or maybe because of it, the ghost wasn’t long in making her presence known to me. Yes, she. It seems the resident hotel ghost is a woman and her name…drum roll, please…Catherine. She had the nerve to throw my chocolate in the garbage. Not just any chocolate, but good truffles that I’d bought at Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie

At first I thought I’d misplaced the delectable treats, so I scoured the room looking for them. Perplexed, I sat on the bed and mentally ran over everything I’d done since eating one of them. I had sat on the bed, logged onto the laptop, eaten a candy, eaten a chocolate, and put both packages on the bed beside me while I checked e-mail. When I reached for another of the addictive truffles, I couldn’t find them. I searched the room, under the bed, in the closet, in my suitcase…everywhere. Shelley came in at that point, helped me look, and kept insisting that I must put them somewhere and forgotten. I swore, and still do, that I never left the bed. That’s when an inexplicable urge hit me to search the garbage. There sat my chocolates, innocently perched under a piece of discarded paper. Shelley hadn’t thrown them out and I certainly hadn’t, so how would you explain it?

Wait, there’s more. The ghost was busy that weekend. J Falling asleep after such a spine-tingling experience wasn’t easy, but I managed, only to wake during the night to a strange

noise. Since it sounded to be right beside me, I wondered what my roommate, Shelley, had taken to bed with her that would make so much noise. Kind of a rolling, metal rattle. The sound continued all night long, sometimes loud, other times quiet, but always sounding right beside me. Morning arrived and I climbed from bed bleary eyed and edgy. Feeling bad for silently cursing Shelley most of the night through, I politely asked her what she’d had in bed that made so much noise every time she moved. Her blank stare stilled any hope that a ghostly being hadn’t been responsible for bothering me all night.

Once I explained what I’d heard, we shook the bed, jumped on it…did everything we could to determine the cause of the noise. Nothing. As with the chocolate, no earthly explanation presented itself. Strangely, the next night at the ghost walk, nothing happened to compare to the experiences in my own hotel room.

Am I a believer? I’d say I’m a hard sell, but definitely a believer. Too many strange occurrences in my lifetime have ensured that. But that’s a story for another day.

So, are you a believer?

If Salem, witchcraft and magic interest you, check out my books based in Salem, Ma. Just so you know, I’ll be giving a book of your choice away to someone who posts a comment. Take care and have a great day.